Tag Archives: Tutorial

Template Tuesday – July 2, 2013

Welcome to “Template Tuesday”, today I’m mixing it up a bit! I was on Facebook and one of the lovely ladies in one of my digital scrapbooking groups share the perfect link for today’s post. Have you ever wanted to add text to a page but there are embellishments in the way of your text box? I’ve had this happen on my pages and it had required me to take the time to make sure my text was formatted correctly. Not anymore! This tutorial will show you how to create a custom shaped text box in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements 10 or newer (sorry to those of you who use version 9 or below, I used to use version 6 so I know how frustrating this can be).

Journaling is such a important part of scrapbooking. Recording our thoughts and memories is part of what will make our layouts meaningful to those who look at them years from now. But, I often get caught up in the creative process of designing a layout and forget to leave adequate space for my journaling. And then, when I try to find space for it, I want it to fit around the other elements on the page. But, doing that with the Type tools alone can be a really frustrating process. Luckily, I have the option of creating text in a Shape… read more

Shaped Text from DigitalScrapper.com

I hope the tutorial was helpful for you! I know I’m going to enjoy spending time over there expanding my skills! Tomorrow is Project Life Wednesday so make sure you stop by and see me work with some paper! Shocking right?! As always…

BeeTreeSig-web

Template Tuesday – June 25, 2013

Welcome to “Template Tuesday” and the post that almost didn’t happen! You see, Photoshop Elements 11 and I had a little disagreement last night, it decided that the halftone filter wasn’t going to work properly anymore… after working just fine since the install. Why you ask? I have no idea… This put a kink into my plans for “Template Tuesday”. I’d planned to show you how to halftone pictures to use in superhero themed layouts like the one from yesterday’s post. I started out with this template (for Jessica Sprague’s 7 Days in June Challenges. Unfortunately, the links for this challenge are only good for one day so head over there and pick up today’s freebie and join the challenge!):

I rotated the template (this seems to be a new trend for me…), added my papers, pictures and elements to come up with this layout:

“My Hero”Template: iToons by Liv.e Designs
Kit: Super Kid by Inspiredbydominic Designs (Releases 6/27/13)

You can’t see it very well, but I used a halftone overlay on the pictures. I don’t think these photos show the effect as nicely as the ones in yesterday’s layout. Thanks Photoshop Elements, thanks. In yesterday’s layout, I used the halftone filter (Filter-> Sketch-> Halftone pattern). This layout I copied all of my photos into a grayscale page (Mode-> Grayscale) to use the halftone pattern (does anyone know why I can’t apply the pattern anymore to a color photo?!). This morning, I really was grumpy because I DID NOT like how these photos turned out. Guess where I went… if you said Google you win! Google was only so helpful. I found many techniques for halftoning in Photoshop but information on Photoshop Elements was pretty limited. What I did find was this great gem on Draconianrain’s Blog, of how to halftone a drawing, that helped me notice I had another filter option! The Halftone color! (Filter-> Pixelate-> Color Halftone) It gave me a better overlay to work with but I will have to play around with the settings some more! Do you want to see how I did it with a picture? Here you go, just click a picture to make it bigger if you can’t see all the details:

Step 1: Duplicate layer. I always, always try to remember to do this as it’s a lot easier to scrap edits and start over!

Duplicate layer

Step 2: Filter-> Pixelate-> Color Halftone

Filter-> Pixelate-> Color Halftone

Step 3: Change your settings. I used the settings pictured. The smaller the number, the smaller the “dots”.

Change settings
Color Halftone close up

Step 4: Opacity and blending mode options. I ended up duplicating my background again and setting the blend mode to Soft light to up the contrast:

Soft Light blend mode for middle layer

The top layer that has the Color Halftone filter is set to Overlay blend mode:

Halftone layer set to Overlay

And you know what? While looking at this picture I realized why I was having issues with my half tone pattern. Do you see the two black boxes on the bottom left? They are the foreground and background color. They shouldn’t both be black if I want to see a pattern! Sigh, at least I figured out what I was doing wrong, and I found another way to create a halftone look! So, if you want to do it the easy way… follow above steps until you get to choosing Color Halftone filter. Use Filter-> Sketch-> Halftone Pattern

Filter-> Sketch-> Halftone Pattern settings (Size 3, Contrast 30)

Take a look at those little boxes on the bottom left… One’s now black (the colors the dots will be) and the other one is white (what the background color will be). I then set the top (Halftone Pattern layer) to Overlay blend mode. I duplicated the background layer again and set it to Screen blend and 50% opacity.

Middle layer Screen blend, 50% Opacity

Is anyone still with me? Well that’s three ways to create a halftone effect on your pictures (or on anything really!)… I hope your eyes didn’t glaze over too much! If you have any questions, leave me a comment or as I said, if there’s anything you are interested in “seeing how it’s done” I’ll do my best to lay out a how-to on a “Template Tuesday” for you! As always…

BeeTreeSig-web

Template Tuesday – June 18, 2013

Welcome to Template Tuesday! I’m going to showing you the “how-to” of  working with a “Quick-Page” today. If you don’t know, a “Quick-Page” or “QP” is a layout that is almost completely done and all you need to do is add your pictures, title and journaling. It’s a great way to get pictures in a layout if you’re short on time or worried that your skills aren’t that good, and let me tell you, they are probably better then you give yourself credit for!

Typically it is a .PNG file with one layer, the graphics are “flattened”, and the pictures go behind and peek though the photo spots. Some come with “photo spot” shapes to clip your pictures to, especially if there are many pictures close together. The one I’m sharing today is by ChrissyW Digital, from her “Spring At Last” kit. Here is what the quick page looks like “straight out of the box”:

Spring At Last – Quick Page Empty

The first thing that I added was my picture. Since this quick page only has one photo spot, a clipping shape isn’t needed. I re-sized and moved around my picture on the layer under this one until I was happy with the placement. At this point I had this:

Quick page with photo added

Next I decided to create my title with the “Spring At Last – button alpha“. I pulled the button letters that I needed, lined them up and re-sized them so they fit on the lines made by the paper strips. Then I took the button stitch and added the middle stitch to every-single-button… It was a little over the top to add all the stitches since the page looked fine without them but I wanted to add a little more because I had started with an almost complete page.

The one thing to remember: be aware of the direction of the shadows already on the page! If the elements you add have a shadow in another direction, the page won’t look right. Most people won’t pick up on what’s wrong at first but they will know something’s not right. The goal most of the time with digital pages is to “fool” the eye into thinking the digital page is “real”. Shadows are key to this! On this page, most of the elements are not bulky so it’s a little difficult to tell the shadow direction by the paper. As you can see looking at the bow over the picture, the “light” is coming from around the upper left corner. I tend to look at the bulkiest element first to find my shadow direction.

Quick page with title

The last step when using quick pages is to add your journaling and date. Sometimes a page doesn’t need journaling to tell the story, this picture was a bit generic so I added a little information about out “Meet and Greet” with the Disney Fairies. And that’s it! You’re done with your page! Take a look at the finished page:

“meet and greet” – Quick Page
Spring At Last QP1 by ChrissyW Digital
Spring At Last Alpha by ChrissyW Digital

Hopefully you try out some quick pages, they really are a great, quick way to get photos scrapped without being overwhelmed by papers, elements and alphas! The focus is on the pictures and the story! If you use this or another quick page, feel free to share it! I love seeing the wonderful pages you all can come up with! As always…

BeeTreeSig-web

Template Tuesday – June 11, 2013

Welcome to Template Tuesday! Today we’re going to look at one of the templates that I wrote about yesterday, “Project Life Journal Cards V4” by M&M Designs. You can pick it up on sale for only $2 at Gotta Pixel!

Project Life Journal Card V4

I used the template on the bottom right for the layout I’m sharing today. I’m going to show you the process I typically use when making my Project Life style layouts. Kind of a “how to” if you will. Actually, this is pretty much my process for most pages I create regardless of format! Without further ado, here is my layout for the day:
“Tom Sawyer Island”
Template: Project Life Journal Card V4 by M&M Designs
Kit: Kraft by Becky Higgins
Elements: Cache Ya Later by ChrissyW Digital

Okay, the first step that I start with is picking my pictures. Sometimes that’s easy because I already know what I want to use in my layout. This was one of those times! It was out last night in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and I was trying to take my very last photos! I ended up using the “Sunset” setting on my camera and I love how these turned out, the only adjustment I made was “Unsharp Mask” to take the fog out. The pictures below haven’t been altered so you can compare them to the final layout photos that used this one adjustment.

Large photo, unaltered
For small square photo, unaltered
Second small square photo, unaltered

Then I take my photos, clip them into my layout and re-size as needed. I added a second, rounded corner background below the cards but above the original background. I re-sized the card spaces and the additional background so I had a double mat. I did this because I wanted more of the patterned paper to show around the cards. Here’s what I’m talking about:

Layout step one, pictures and re-seized template

Next I choose what papers or kit I want to use. This time I decided to use the Kraft Project Life kit by Becky Higgins. I chose the papers from this one because they were a similar tone and feel. I played around with which ones I wanted were and what cards I wanted to use. There are so many great choices in this kit that it was hard to choose just four cards and four papers!

Layout step 2, papers and cards placed

Next I decided that I wanted to add more then just some text. I wanted some elements, do-dads if you will. I chose to use “Cache Ya Later” by ChrissyW Digital. I typically pull all the elements into Photoshop Elements. This lets me see them in my photo bin and I don’t have to keep opening things! It might be lazy, but it helps me work quickly when I can see all my options at one time. I also add the title now. Right now I’m really liking outlined/matted titles. I decided to match the kit’s text on my title. I think it flows better that way, plus I love the text the kit had! Here is the layout with elements and title:

Layout step 3, elements and title

I realized that my far right card was very plain. I wasn’t sure what to use there and then inspiration struck! I duplicated my card, extracted out just the white and red circles and decided to make them “card flaps” to hold in a journaling card! I created a square shape and clipped on the same graph paper I used for the background. I added the rest of my text and voila! The very. very last thing that I do is make sure things are shadowed properly, especially if I change the shadow angles on a template. I also check that everything is placed where it should be and my text is spelled correctly. I am a terrible speller so the fact that PSE does NOT have a spell checker makes me super nervous sometimes! Here is a close up of my right 3×4 card:

Right 3×4 card close-up

That’s pretty much my work flow. At this point I make sure everything is saved and create my web sized image. I upload wherever I want then. I used to save my full resolution JPGs at the same time but I’m not printing them right now so I’ve decided to wait on creating those files until I decide to print a large batch.

This is also the same workflow I use when I create my paper Project Life pages. If you want to check those out, you can click over to my Photobucket album of those pages! If you have any questions leave me a comment or hop over to my Facebook page and you can leave a comment there too! I hope you enjoyed this post and that it might help you with your own layouts!

One last bit of housekeeping, this is the last day to get Gotta Pixel’s GGI packs. M&M Designs’ GGI packs are only $1 for each four template pack! How could you go wrong? Here are the links for “Walking on Sunshine 1” and “Walking on Sunshine 2“.

BeeTreeSig-web